Victor Bolden vs. SDSU secondary:
The Sand Diego State secondary is young and raw. I am sure they will be well coached, and there will most likely be a lot of pressure on Sean Mannion to get the ball out quickly, but I also hope that Bolden can build on his success last week. He should be able to get separation and if he can keep his focus and continue to attack the secondary, I think he can have success.
Obum Gwatcham vs. Terry Poole and Pearce Slater:
San Diego State has one returning starter in Poole and one new starter in Slater. Poole is a very good tackle and both of them are massive (over 6’4 and 310 lbs), so it will be interesting to see if Boom can keep his momentum rolling this week. I expect both players for the Aztecs to be better than anyone he faced in Hawaii, but they also are going to have to sustain their blocks well as they have a mobile QB that likes to abandon the pocket. This plays into the hyper athletic Gwatcham’s skills as he has the speed to close on most QB’s and if Quinn gets outside the tackles, Boom will get a chance to make a play on him.
Gwatcham needs to continue to progress and get more violent with his hands and maintain leverage on the offensive players even though he is 6’5″, but if he can take another step this week, he might be able to force a lot of errors on the error prone QB for SDSU.
OSU Offensive LIne vs. SDSU blitzes:
Once again, like in 2013, we will probably see a different front five this week than we have seen all year. With Weinreich out and Harlow slow to come back, there is a chance that Dustin Stanton will get his first start against by far the best defense that OSU will have played all year. There is a chance that even when Harlow gets back that they may move him down and keep Stanton and Andrews on the outside. My guess is that this is going to make it difficult for OSU to come out to the same fast start they did last week.
If they do, and the line can be solid against a very good front seven or eight of SDSU, then it will be a big day for the Beavers. I don’t think Hawaii is as bad as everyone else, but this will be a pretty decent upgrade in talent and a HUGE step in coaching.
Mike Riley vs Rocky Long:
I have always been a big Rocky Long fan. I was good friends with his daughters when he coached at OSU and thought he was the best defensive coach we have ever had. He also is well aware of what Mike does and how he operates, having played against him and coached against him a half dozen times at various coaching stops.
So what is Mike, and Garrett, going to do to change things up? How are they going to get SDSU to do what they want them to do or adjust to what SDSU is going to do? Will they have the silly mistakes shored up by then? Will the bye week end up being the turning point on a season filled with miscues?
What is Rocky going to do? We have all seen his defenses through the years and we know about the players they have. I don’t like to think about last year too much because OSU is so much more stable and experienced in their front seven than last year (as well as better physically) but what is Rocky going to do to overcome what is a slight, but still evident talent gap? This is two very good coaches that are very familiar with each other playing chess. It will be interesting to see what happens for sure!